Whether amateurs or professionals, it is probable that most people will experience some type of injury related to a sport or fitness regimen. Today’s culture urges us to exercise in order to keep fit and to avoid weight gain. It is a fun way, either with a team or partner, to burn calories, tone muscles, and increase metabolism. Unfortunately, an injury can occur as the result of poor warm-up and stretching techniques, years of poor posture, or a previously undetected spine or joint problem.
Failing to receive the appropriate treatment promptly and continuing to overuse the injured area may prolong the healing process and result in a chronic injury, preventing the athlete from achieving his or her peak level of performance. Some will try to mask the symptoms and the pain with drugs. But if left untreated, the injury will only be compounded with time.
Before beginning an exercise program or training for an athletic event, check with your sports chiropractor for advice on ways to prevent injury. Here are a few guidelines to consider:
- Ask for a complete chiropractic examination: This may include a review of your medical history, a heart and lung examination, and/or functional/biomechanical screening.
- Use proper attire and equipment: Make sure your equipment (helmet, gloves, pads, mouth guard, shoes, etc.) fits properly.
- Training and playing smart: Begin slowly and gradually increase the time and intensity of your workouts to avoid tendinitis and stress fractures. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after practice or competition. At least six weeks prior to the start of a sports season, start a pre-season conditioning program.
- Warm-up and stretching: Stretching should be slow and sustained; no bouncing or jerking, to prepare your muscles for activity and prevent injuries from tight soft tissue structures. A warm-up should consist of 15 minutes of sub-maximal sports-specific exercise which increases the body’s heart rate, body and muscle temperature, and muscle elasticity.
- First aid treatment for injuries (RICE)
- R-est - reduce stress to the injured area.
- I-ce - ice injured area 20 minutes four times per day.
- C-ompression - Apply an elastic bandage to the injured area.
- E-levation - Raise the injured area above the level of the heart to decrease blood flow.
- Prevent re-injury: Rehabilitate your injury completely before gradually returning to activity and protect the injured area with special equipment or brace.
Remember: Acute injuries are easier to treat than chronic (long-standing) ones. If you have pain that returns or gets worse stop training, tell your coach and seek advice!
Our sports chiropractors offer skilled chiropractic adjustments, kinesiotaping, or intense-directed massage. For more information about sports chiropractic treatment and to schedule an appointment, call our offices of McKim Chiropractic today. Our licensed and certified staff is committed to helping the sports enthusiasts of Nampa, ID, and Caldwell, ID, get back in the game pain-free!